Traveling on buses across the country you meet all kinds of people. It’s a completely different experience from talking to someone on a plane or at an airport. Those trips are relatively quick unless you are traveling across an ocean. We won’t go into clichés, but you do meet a lot of those on the road. Sometimes you even turn into one yourself. The change is gradual and it creeps up over the back of seats and under cramped legs resting on noisy foot rests to finally lie in your lap. Comfortable. At peace. Anything and everything that you are not feeling at that particular moment surrounded by a Russian roulette of personalities. In that situation, the best, and only cure, is Blind Guardian’s cover of “Don’t Talk To Strangers” by Dio. It becomes the armor around you that blocks out feelings of premature attachment to other passengers or befalling harm from those looking to exploit the vulnerable; and trust me, everyone on that bus is vulnerable. You are crammed together, regardless if you sleep or not, someone could take advantage of the situation. You are at the mercy of the bus driver and the bus company employees. Money can’t save you from true insanity and disillusionment nor can it save you from faulty machinery or accidents. So, it is also true for every time you take a step outside of your front door, but it is a different kind of vulnerability when you are hundreds of miles away from your stomping ground. You are truly alone unless you brought someone with you.
Don’t talk to strangers, they will only cause you pain. Don’t take risks, because you are bound to fail. Run from the kind of intimacy that can only come from knowing that you will never meet that person again. It is a cynical song. With biting sarcasm, it describes humanity’s natural fear of each other. But always with a grain of truth slipping beneath strong syllables and through a bassline that gives you goosebumps. Across solid drumlins and beats, it slithers just out of focus. If you close your eyes and lose yourself in the exquisitely executed vocals and guitar solos, it will tug at your heart and you can’t help but shake your head in reverence and respect. I am a die-hard Dio fan. By that, I do not mean that I have every aspect of his life memorized and tons of memorabilia lying around. What I mean is that I worship the man’s song writing abilities and singing voice. That being said, I prefer Blind Guardian’s cover of “Don’t Talk To Strangers” to the original song by Dio. Say what you will, but something about it just grabs me and makes me sigh wistfully like I would when remembering a close friend that has been absent for years. Check out the song for yourselves, preferably on a journey across your lawn or across the country. Doesn’t really matter.